Burness Paull

Charities Department

Current View:

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What the team is known for Top-notch advice on legal structures, particularly SCIO models. Also assists with property and employment issues faced by clients, many of which are healthcare organisations and regional development charities as well as trusts and grant-giving foundations. Recent work includes advice on restructurings, including charity mergers and asset transfers. Additionally houses a strong regulatory and compliance practice.

Strengths Clients praise the firm for the "good communication across different areas of expertise," adding: "Clearly they can draw on a very strong and broad wealth of knowledge."

Sources comment: "The firm is full of very good, experienced people who care about what their clients are trying to achieve and are always available."

"They focus heavily on the needs of their clients and provide an excellent customer experience," according to interviewees.

Work highlights Acted for Football Hope Change Foundation, assisting the directors with putting in place a group structure, with the aim of an improved governance framework.

Notable practitioners

Gillian Harkness represents a range of charitable organisations in mergers, joint ventures and structuring matters. Clients say: "She tailors her support to take account of our particular requirements and is extremely responsive."

Stephen Phillips is singled out for his depth of experience, particularly with regard to corporate structures. Clients remark that his "knowledge and expertise is unsurpassed," adding: "He is pragmatic, clear and concise in the legal advice he gives. This gives him gravitas and he is therefore one of those lawyers you want on your side in any negotiation."